There are a lot of options available for breast screening or imaging today, some of them as old as the mammograms that have been used since the 1980s. There are certain risks that are often associated with some of the technologies so it is important that a woman chooses her screening plan only at the advice of her health care provider.
Some of the common technologies used for Breast screening are-
1. Breast Ultrasound
2. Breast MRI
3. A regular 2D-mammogram
5. Contrast enhanced digital mammogram
6. Molecular Breast Imaging
7. Breast PET/PEM
As per one of the studies in Italy, adding an ultrasound to an existing combination of 2D and 3D mammography improved the detection of cancer significantly.
Tomosynthesis or the 3D mammography as it is popularly called is the latest in the breast screening technology that enables a clear picture or screening of the breast by getting multiple images of it that are further synthesized by the computer to result into thin slices of the breast. This technology gives better results than the traditional 2D mammography where the superimposed tissues above and below can hide any abnormality in a breast.
Tomosynthesis eliminates the need of further tests or screenings. It is also helpful in detecting smaller cancers at a primary stage.
A diagnostic mammogram is a common x-ray test that is done to diagnose any unusual changes in a breast like-
· A lump
· Persistent pain
· Nipple discharge
· Tenderness in breast
· Change in the size or the shape of breast
· A previous breast cancer
Such a mammogram confirms whether the symptoms are benign (non cancerous) or not and whether or not they require any further tests or treatments. The after effects in such a test are rare.